17 years ago, a storm rendered the former Klingle Road through Rock Creek Park unusable. Ever since then, there's been an on-again, off-again controversy about whether to rebuild it. Those in favor say:
"I don't understand her position at all," [Joe] Keyerleber said. "This hiker-biker trail is such a myth. It's way too steep!"
Well to explain things, I suppose it is true that the desire to create a hiking/bike path isn't the premiere issue here. Rather, the larger point is that we have a city most of whose residents don't commute daily to work by car. The city also has some traffic congestion issues. If you opened a new road, that would ease traffic. Which would make driving more attractive. In which case, somewhat more people would start driving to work on their daily commute. So in the end, you'd have the same congestion problem, but a higher overall level of pollution.
If, by contrast, we used the land (which is in the middle of a park) and some of the money for recreational purposes, and the rest of the money to fund our heavily-used-but-in-need-of-repairs transit system we'd be doing a favor to the environment and to public health and in the end the traffic will ultimately be the same either way. I note that my city council representative (and quite possibly yours too if you live in DC and are the sort of person who reads blogs), Jim Graham, is the Council's leading proponent of rebuilding the road and I'm not happy about it.
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